New season coming for Super Formula. Yesterday, Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) takes 6th pole-position.
Before start ,Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing) didn’t start due to engine problem.
In start, Naoki Yamamoto not good start and drop from 1st to 4th.
On the other hand Andre Lotterer and Kazuki Nakajima are both Petronas Team TOM’s guys goes perfect start. Lotterer junp up 3rd from top!
Yamamoto drop 3rd, but he passed Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU//CERUMO・INGING） in lap2.
Takashi Kogure (Drago Corse) stop at road race chicane due to engine problem.
Tough start for Ex F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi (Team LeMans). Kamui straggle the race pace. So team decided early pit stop in lap9.
On top group, Kazuki and Yamamoto so close. But not a easy to overtake.
Kazuki and TOM’s pit in lap27, So Yamamoto push hard that lap, and pit in lap28. But Kazuki protect 2nd position after pit stop.
In 4th battle. Karthikeyan goes pit lap30. Next lap, Ishiura pit stop. Ishiura can get 4th position after pit stop. But his tire cold than Karthikeyan. So Karthikeyan passed Ishiura at spoon corner.
In addition, JP.Oliveira (Lenovo Team IMPUL) pit lap32. So quick and great job of IMPUL crew. So JP passed Ishiura after pit stop.
James Rossiter (Kondo Racing) is last pit stop driver lap34. And Rossiter takes gamble. He doesn’t changes tire.
Bridgestone’s Super Formula tire is so hard and no big degradation. But Suzuka is tough for tire.
Rossiter goes 4th after pit. But Oliveira push hard.
In top group, Yamamoto continue attack to Kazuki. But so difficult to overtakes.
And occurs tragedy for Yamamoto. In final lap, Suddenly broken engine. Yamamoto lost 3rd position.
Honda engine shows good performance. But has some big problem this race.
Finally Andre Lotterer takes lead 8sec from team-mate Kazuki Nakajima. Lotterer finished top! And takes 21st victory for his Japanese top formula history! This race is memorial race for Lotterer 100th race.
2nd is defending champion Kazuki Nakajima. So Petronas Team TOM’s dominate season opener.
3rd is Narain Karthikeyan. He is top of Honda engine user. And his first podium finish.
So tough battle Rositter and Oliveira. But Rossiter stop in last lap due to out of gas. So Oliveira gets 4th.
5th is Hiroaki Ishiura.
Difficult race for Kamui Kobayashi. Kamui finished 9th can’t take point (1-8 position gets point) . But some driver retired final few laps.
So Super Formula is tough and top-level formula series.